Pan-American Union

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PAN-AMERICAN UNION. The Pan-American Union was the secretariat of the Union of American Republics from 1910 to 1948. The Union of American Republics succeeded the International Union of American States (1890–1910) and preceded the Organization of American States (OAS) (1948–).

The International Union of American States was founded following the first International Conference of American States in Washington, D.C. (2 October 1889–19 April 1890), attended by representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and of course, the United States. From 1890 to 1910 the International Union of American States more or less operated as a branch of, and was based in, the U.S. Department of State. When it was reorganized as the Union of American Republics with the Pan-American Union as its secretariat, it was moved to the new Pan-American Union Building on Constitution Avenue and 17th Street NW in Washington, D.C.

Following the formative meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1910, the Pan-American Union organized inter-American conferences in Santiago, Chile, in 1923; Havana, Cuba, in 1928; Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1933; and Lima, Peru, in 1938. The Pan-American Union also organized the meeting in Bogota, Colombia, in 1948 that led to the founding of the Organization of American States (OAS). In 1951 the Pan-American Union was officially renamed the Secretariat of the OAS.


Gilderhus, Mark T. Pan American Visions: Woodrow Wilson in the Western Hemisphere, 1913–1921. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986.

Inman, Samuel Guy. Inter-American Conferences, 1826–1954: History and Problems. Edited by Harold Eugene Davis. Washington, D.C.: The University Press, 1965.

Mark T.Berger

See alsoLatin America, Relations with .

Pan-American Union

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Pan-American Union (PAU) See Organization of American States (OAS) It aimed to promote international cooperation and to improve economic, social, and cultural relations between the American republics. PAU was the name given to the secretariat of OAS (1948–70), but after 1970 the name Pan-American Union ceased to be used.